Epilepsy

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Magnesium

  • In 2012 The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences published a review of 22 cases of drug-resistant epilepsy where supplemental magnesium was administered to patients. Thirty-six percent of the subjects had a response rate of 75 percent or greater, with 2 patients reporting freedom from seizures.
  • In 2009 the Indian Journal of Pharmacology published an animal study which showed that magnesium supplementation for 30 days exhibited a protective effect against electroshock-induced seizures in rats.
  • In 2012 The Journal of Neurophysiology published an animal study which showed that magnesium can reduce cerebral excitability in rats which, according to the authors of the study, supports its usefulness as an anti-seizure and anti-epileptic agent.
  • In 2019 Nutrition published a study based on 2442 men between the ages 42 and 60, which found that higher dietary magnesium was associated with a lower incidence of epilepsy.
  • In 2016 Child Neurology Open published a case study in which 3 child patients were experiencing unprovoked hypomagnesemia-associated seizures. In all 3 cases increasing magnesium levels to over 0.65 mmol/L improved or eliminated seizures. The authors of the study note that magnesium levels should always be measured when trying to determine the etiology of seizures.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

  • In 2014 Intractable and Rare Disease Research published a review which noted that vitamin B6 deficiency caused by dietary deficiency, liver disease, pregnancy and certain medications can lead to seizures in adults. According to the authors these seizures can be easily treated by vitamin B6 with excellent results.
  • In 2015 the Journal of Epilepsy Research published a report of a 36-year-old man with chronic alcoholism who suffered from seizures which persisted even after treatment with antiepileptic drugs but were successfully cured after treatment with pyridoxine. The authors note that vitamin B6 deficiency may trigger seizures in adults with chronic alcoholism.
  • In 2011 Brain & Development published a study involving 216 West syndrome patients which showed that 100 – 400 mg/day vitamin B6 supplementation effectively improved symptoms including seizures in 13.9 percent of patients, with excellent long-term results. The researchers recommend all West syndrome patients complete a minimum of 10 days treatment with high dose oral vitamin B6 due to its safety and rapid efficacy.
  • In 2011 the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition published a case series on 3 adults with alcoholic cirrhosis, hepatitis C and intraventricular bleeding, all who suffered from new-onset seizures and did not respond to ant-epliteptic medications. In each case, 2 days of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplementation eliminated seizures. The authors note that although seizures caused by vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon in adults, treatment with vitamin B6 should considered in critically ill adult patients with refractory seizures.

Vitamin B6 deficiency

  • In 2012 Epilepsy & Behavior published a 12-week study which found that 16 out of 33 (48%) patients taking enzyme-inducing AEDs (antiepileptic drugs) including phenytoin and carbamazepine were vitamin B6 deficient compared to just 1 out of 11 (9%) in a control group. After patients were switched to non-enzyme-inducing AEDs drugs (levetiracetam, lamotrigine, or topiramate) only 7 of the 33 patients (21%) were vitamin B6 deficient. The authors note that the often severe B6 deficiency often caused by AEDs may lead to other chronic health conditions.

Ketogenic Diet

  • In 2005 Epilepsia published a study to test the effect of a ketogenic diet on children with dravet syndrome. After one year 13 of the original 20 children were on the diet. Of these 13, two were seizure free, 8 had a 75-99 percent reduction in seizures and the remaining 3 children had a 50-74 percent decrease in seizures. The authors recommend that children with DS should be offered treatment with a ketogenic diet after 3 trials of anti-epilepsy drugs have failed. [Source]
  • In 1998 Archives of Neurology published a study in which 41 children with more than 10 seizures per week were placed on a ketogenic diet. At 6 months 55 percent of the children had at least a 50 percent decrease in seizures and at 1 year 10 percent (5 patients) were free of seizures. [Source]

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